In brief: Shifting precincts, hefty raise, murky water and more

In brief: Shifting precincts, hefty raise, murky water and more

Know your polling place

It’s been an eventful couple years, and if you want to speak up when it matters (by voting in the midterms on November 6) your deadline to register is October 15. With that in mind, we also want to remind 15,000 voters in Albemarle County that their polling places have changed.

The county has added three new precincts and folded the Belfield precinct into Jack Jouett, says Albemarle registrar Jake Washburne.

Split are Cale, which begat the new Biscuit Run precinct; Crozet and Brownsville, which gave birth to Mechums River; and Free Bridge, which adds Pantops precinct.

And voters in the University precinct who had cast ballots at the soon-to-be demolished U Hall will now do so at Slaughter Rec Center.

The splits will make Election Day lines more manageable, says Washburne, and there’s another deadline he’s considering: “After February 1, 2019, we can’t change any precincts until after the 2020 presidential election.”

Some are predicting massive turnout in November. Compared to last September, Albemarle has added 2,000 voters. And Washburne mailed over 700 ballots on the first day of absentee voting, compared to 94 on the first day of the last midterm election in 2014. 

In the city, registrar Rosanna Bencoach says there’s always a surge of registrations in September and October from the student population. But according to the state elections website, Charlottesville has 922 more active voters as of October 1 than it did a year ago.

Bencoach issues a caveat to would-be voters: Don’t wait until the last minute to register or to request an absentee ballot, which must be applied for by 5pm the Tuesday before the election.

“With the current postal delivery practices, that’s way too late,” she says.

Quote of the week

“The Court is not typically in the muck and the mire of partisan politics. But this throws it right into the swamp.”—Barbara Perry, Miller Center director of presidential studies, on the Kavanaugh hearing

Lucrative gig

staff photo

City Council appointed Brian Wheeler interim clerk of council at its October 1 meeting. The current city spokesperson and former editor of Charlottesville Tomorrow temporarily replaces Paige Rice, who resigned last month. Since starting with the city in February at $98,000, raises have upped Wheeler’s pay to $116,438, an 8 percent increase in less than a year.

A12 anniversary costs add up

Charlottesville spent $921,334 over the August 12 anniversary weekend putting downtown on lockdown, and the University of Virginia reports its costs were $422,981. Adding the Virginia State Police’s expenses of $3.1 million, that puts the police-heavy weekend at around $4.4 million—and that’s not including Albemarle County’s costs.

Mayor tops duchess

Mayor Nikuyah Walker is No. 51 on the Root’s list of 100 most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45, coming in ahead of No. 52, Meghan Markle.

Chris Greene closed again

After a dog swam in the lake over the weekend and then died suddenly, Albemarle County officials have closed it for water recreation until results from new water quality tests are available.

Pot arrests surge

Despite decriminalization and legalization around the country, Virginia’s marijuana arrests hit their highest levels in a decade last year. Arrests statewide spiked 20 percent and convictions still carry the possibility of a six-month driver’s license suspension and up to $800 in fines, according to the Virginia Mercury.

Indigenous Peoples Day

Karenne Wood. Publicity photo

“We have been categorized as people of the past,” Karenne Wood, an enrolled member of the Monacan Indian Nation, told C-VILLE in March. She pointed out that in school textbooks, American Indians are often written about in the past tense: They lived in this type of house; they ate squash and corn; they wore feathers.

But she also hopes those textbooks will tell the story of Virginia Indians present and future. For Wood, director of Virginia Indian Programs at Virginia Humanities, that means working with textbook writers to tell a fuller—not just colonist—history of Native Americans. “We have adapted to live in this century along with everybody else,” she says.

To acknowledge their history on Indigenous Peoples Day, and to give a native perspective on how the story of Virginia’s first people can be expanded, Wood will give a talk called “Stone, Bone, and Clay: Virginia Indians’ History of 18,000 Years” on Monday, October 8, from 6:30-8pm at Lane Auditorium in the Albemarle County Office Building.

Monacan tribal dancers will perform immediately following her presentation.

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